Monday, January 12, 2009

Palace Badii and its storks

My eyes were always drawn to the storks of the medina. So exotic and yet a bit bedraggled and weary looking living in the middle of the madness. They nest atop mosque towers but primarily atop the walls of the ruins of the Palace Badii, once one of the greatest palaces ever built and then stripped of its grandeur within twelve years and left to what you can see. Honestly, the buildings of Pompeii looks better than this poor palace. But one Sultan falls out of favor and another moves in and decides to move all the palace riches to another part of Morocco. What can you do? But the storks took up residence and since believed to be reincarnated humans, live in relative peace amidst the chaos of the medina. It certainly is calmer above the city and there is a certain majestic quality about the birds which makes the palace a fitting aviary. The nests are five and six feet in diameter and almost as tall. At dusk, they gracefully fly home to this palace from all other high spots in the city. It's beautiful to see.

Our last night in Marrakech, it's so cold. We are so done with the cold. It's making me grouchy for sure. I think the Moroccans are grouchy even. We take a short walk in one final spin around the old city. As the final two prayer calls go out from the mosque, we sip our last coca-colas (will be glad to get back to the land of heathen infidels where beer and wine flow from the taps) and enjoy comfort foods done quite well in Morocco--pizza, spaghetti, ice cream and chocolate cake. Leave it to the Hunters to find the junk food even in Africa.

Monday, we're home safe in Oxford, I've got the laundry going for the last time and we are all dreaming of home for real now. Four days and counting...

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